A rediscovery of Verdi's early masterpiece, full of political intrigue and passionate love.
With brilliant arias, magnificent ensembles and great choral pieces, Giuseppe Verdi created with his earlier masterpiece Ernani a compelling opera in which theatrical power prevails. Verdi was inspired by Victor Hugo's play Hernani, ou l'Honneur Castillan, one of the key works of French Romanticism that emphasised raw emotions. In Ernani, Verdi paints the portrait of a young outsider, someone so deeply traumatised that allowing any kind of love into his life has become impossible.
Outcast rebel Ernani has one goal in mind: to avenge his father's murder by killing Spanish king Don Carlos. When Ernani wants to save his beloved Elvira from her forced marriage to old Duke Silva, he learns that the king himself also wants to marry Elvira. Ernani finds himself in a personal as well as a political tangle which can only end fatally for him.
Conductor Julia Jones and director Barbora Horáková Joly interweave the opera with several monologues by author Peter Verhelst, written especially for this production, performed by actor Johan Leysen. The newly created mysterious character accompanies Ernani on an inner journey through his dark and twisted thoughts. The opera becomes a sequence of episodes from Ernani's life: memories, delusions or even nightmares that gradually unveil Ernani's identity...
ca. 2 hours 45 min, incl. intermission
Italian with Dutch and Englisch surtitles
Barbora Horáková Joly